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The e-commerce.

Why make it so difficult?


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why is os so difficult compared to other php sites/forums ??



for example i have been looking into custom fields.


Adding Custom Fields to Customer Details


So you need to know some extra info about your customers? This tutorial will explain how to add extra text fields to Customer Details. I will be using the example of HEIGHT, but this can be changed to any piece of info you need to know.


You will have to edit the following FIVE files:











5 files have to be edited !!??


Whats that about? on another php system ive used previously it was so much easier to add customer fields, change required or optional, etc.. etc.. no editing files, all done in the admin area.

Surely this is where it should be by now?

would save alot of questioning and answers on here.


a dissapointed os user.

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Because Oscommerce is as close as you can come to a professional solution that doesn't cost any money. Remember this stuff is free, and somebody somewhere spent some time helping you in the instruction file so you "could" do it by yourself.


Not to nit-pick but if the other solution was so great.. why aren't you still using it?


There is a normal frustration factor with any new project.. I'm up against it now trying to work on some graphing utility I never used, but you won't catch me going to their forum complaining about something I don't understand our taking too long to make it do what I want it to....

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the other options where not commerce based,

im not slating it dont get me wrong, and its great its free.

But just seems so difficult, when it could be so easy.

I dont know how os works in the background, but i know that other php systems are free.

and simples things are integrated into the initial install, which make it easier.

Surely that would be the point wouldnt it, function and ease. ?

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wrt flexibility, osC is by far one of the very best you can find, for example if your site is multilingual, or if you have customers in other countries than UK, you can offer country specific translations (taking into account cultural differences) and country specific payment/delivery options specific for these countries.


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From an oscommerce perspective editing 5 files is very easy.. Some modifications require 20+ different file edits.


Oscommerce is multi-language multi-currency, multi-shipping, multi-payment service shopping cart solution, you would be surprised about how much thought was put into to make it easier. It does get very simple after awhile of using it.. trust me.


Hope that sheds some light on it for you.

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I think you're asking the wrong question. The people who wrote osCommerce seem to know that you should ask for only the minimum information needed to do business with your customer. The more questions you ask, the more customers you will drive away.




See my profile for a list of my addons and ways to get support.

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The great advantage of osC and the secret to its power is that it's very flexible and can be modified and configured to do almost anything. The great disadvantage of osC and the reason it can be such a pain to work with is, er, its flexibility.


You'll find that the systems you like where it's so easy to change something with one click will often put you into a straitjacket, where to do anything outside of what the developer allowed for can be a maddeningly difficult task. If you're happy with whatever functionality and behavior and appearance your application gives you, stick with it.

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There is a cost to making it easy to add features. Complexity. Just take a look at Magento with it's 3000 files, enormous size and really deep file structure. There are lots of neat features you can from the admin in Magento, but try and do something outside of those admin options.


The way to 'fix' Oscommerce so you don't have to edit those five or more files when you add features is to wrap Oscommerce's simple (relatively), powerful, lightweight, speedy and accessible code in some sort of file superstructure that just buries everything. I hated Oscommerce's spaghetti code when I started but that mixed up php and html is really easier to grasp than the alternative, which would require using more layers of files and more complex coding to separate it out.


Check out the page speeds on the demo sites on Magento. The professionally 'tuned' sites running on expensive dedicated servers run much slower than the average oscommerce site.

Oscommerce site:



OSC to CSS, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7263 -Mail Manager, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/8120

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